Insurance enrollment under Affordable Care Act off to a slow start in Cleveland

CLEVELAND - Justine Beres has been trained to assist northeast Ohio residents who need help enrolling in the Health Insurance Marketplace. But although the enrollment period opened Tuesday, there wasn't a lot for Beres to do.

"Things aren't working the way they should be right now," she said.

There were some technical glitches on the government website where people go to compare insurance plans and enroll. A security question failed to appear, which kept people from creating an account.

"We take that as a good sign," Beres said. "I think that means there's a lot of traffic on that website so you're getting a lot of interest in the marketplace."

Beres is located at the Free Medical Clinic of Greater Cleveland. Other Cleveland community health centers offering enrollment assistance are Northeast Ohio Neighborhood Health Services, Care Alliance and Neighborhood Family Practice.

Beres and the other certified application counselors do not tell clients which insurance plans to choose. They simply help them sort through the plans and answer questions.

Beres said anyone who couldn't enroll Tuesday should be patient. The enrollment period is six months.

"We have a lot of time to figure this out and get people enrolled," she said.

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